EPIC Imaging has been a pioneer in outpatient nuclear medicine. We were one of the first non-hospital based, nuclear medicine facilities licensed by the Oregon Health Division in 1983. In a field that requires longer procedure times, the relaxed outpatient environment greatly enhances patient care.
Since that time, EPIC has maintained its commitment to providing patients with the best technology has to offer in this ever evolving field. In 1999, EPIC Imaging became the first facility in Oregon to acquire a dedicated PET scanner, a revolutionary new technology changing the face of cancer treatment. In late 2003, we once again became the first facility in the region to upgrade to the new combination PET/CT scanner and more recently upgrade to the first high definition PET/CT scanner in the region.
When there is difficulty identifying the cause of a disorder, Nuclear Medicine can frequently help provide answers. The scans often locate disease very early in its process when there may be more success in treating it. At EPIC Imaging we use nuclear medicine scans to help locate a suspected fracture that does not show on other modalities, to look for sites of infection, to check organ function, to visualize tumors and to evaluate neurological conditions. Another common use is full skeletal scans to evaluate the entire bone structure, generally as a follow-up to cancer treatment or to demonstrate changes relating to overuse or aging.
How Nuclear Medicine Works
All nuclear medicine studies work by detecting the energy given off by radioisotopes as they accumulate in the area being imaged by sophisticated cameras or scanners. A radioisotope is a material used in very small, safe doses. It is either swallowed or injected. These materials have specific destinations and will congregate to cells and molecules, giving off a small amount of radiation (energy) while doing so. Over a period of time (sometimes instantly and sometimes over several hours), this small amount of radiation can be detected by a nuclear medicine camera and evaluated for the overall amount of collection and its intensity. The procedure provides valuable information that cannot be seen with other technology. The camera or detector counts the activity, sending the counts to a computer which then transforms the counts to images. The small amount of radioactivity from the exam is completely gone from your body in 12-24 hours.